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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Making a living as a liveaboard
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Thread: Making a living as a liveaboard Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
10-26-2013 05:58 PM
lavidanueva
Re: Making a living as a liveaboard

Sounds like you have the answer, then. I wish you the best of luck. Let us know what works and what doesn't, except for the crime part.

Tim
10-26-2013 05:40 PM
hellosailor
Re: Making a living as a liveaboard

"You must have a lot of money if you plan to do all of your internet through a sat phone"
How do you figure that? Adjusting for inflation, I think satphone time now is about comparable (inflation adjusted) for what I paid for long distance data calls at an incredible 1200 baud in the mid-1980's. And, I made a profit on those calls.
Buck a minute? Still cheaper than cell phone long distance with roaming cost back then!

"Expensive" is all relative. I hear people moaning about how expensive the new low-end 3D printers are, three thousand dollars! WOW! Well, I put that much into my second PC, and that much again into my first laser printer (actually, $3600 at dealer net) and both of them made good profits for me. Inflation adjusted? Those 3D printers could cost ten grand now, and still be comparable bargains. IF you can make a business case for them.

But the road to hell is paved with good intentions and fantasies. I see time and again people saying things that translate into "Go into a whole new line of business, which has historically low profits, high failure rates, and high competition!" when I've known people who were in those businesses (i.e. real estate and newsletter publication) and they're the first ones to say you've got to be both talented and lucky to make a buck in them.

If someone can't figure out a way to leverage their existing, successful skills sets into making money while cruising--the best advice is turn to crime. Crime pays. BIG crime pays well, unplanned 7-11 robberies and chain snatchings, not so well. But the overall failure rate for new businesses in the US is usually quoted at around 95% failing within the first five years.

Starting a new business, with zero experience, in new locations, with a new lifestyle, and expecting to make money at it? No, really, highway robbery is about the best way to make that work. Then you sail off to the next country, and no one will ever figure out how to find you.
10-26-2013 02:57 PM
lavidanueva
Re: Making a living as a liveaboard

You must have a lot of money if you plan to do all of your internet through a sat phone. Expensive and slow are the words to be thinking about. As others have said, most of your time will be spent in port. Find locations with good internet access or buy a cell phone that can be used as a hot spot in the country you are in if you will be there long enough. While they are working on it, living off of the grid but being constantly connected to the net is coming, but not yet affordable or reliable.
10-26-2013 02:47 PM
capta
Re: Making a living as a liveaboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by SummerSailors View Post
We are gearing up to take off cruising next year. While the idea of truly "taking off forever" is great, the reality of having no income while also not being independently wealthy (and spending every penny getting the boat ready!) is slowly creeping in to my consciousness...

I am realizing that I can probably keep several of my clients and work virtually. I am a bookkeeper and Professional Organizer. I *know* I could do this, in theory. My main concern is internet access.

Can you guys talk about what the best way to have reliable internet service is? If I am not at a port, is it possible to still get online somehow and say, do payroll?? We originally are planning to get SSB, but I'm guessing if I'm to be in business, I will need much more than that.

Services, equipment- hardware, software, etc... what say you??
Here's what we have found through actual experience while cruising the Windwards and Leewards for the last 2 years. An external wifi antenna is a must and as we wanted the best reception available and are not very computer savvy, we chose the BadBoy X-treme and their Unleashed. The same equipment can be purchased as the Bullet, but it does take some serious computer savvy to initialize.
Without it, internet was just plain a matter of luck.
With it we have pulled usable, but slow, internet from 2.3 miles (by gps). Almost every anchorage in the Antilles has some form of internet. There are a few companies that are multi-island that charge about us$40.00 a month with speeds varying between 1 and 54 Mbps, but most often on the lower end. There are many open access points (free) also, with varying speeds and at times they can be faster than the paid access points.
There are a few anchorages with absolutely no internet (Chatham Bay, Union Island, for instance), but just next door at Frigate Island anchorage we had decent free wifi.
FdeF Martinique is by far the worst for internet (but great for many other things), but there is free wifi @ McD if you carry your computer ashore. Across the bay @ Pointe du Bout, there was free, excellent wifi, but a year earlier, the same access point wasn't free or even available if you weren't a hotel guest?
Wherever you are speed is usually best between 01:00 and 03:00 if needed.
I think you could very well do the book keeping thing if time wasn't a problem. Almost anywhere you go, you can always find a hotspot with reasonable speed ashore.
Of course these are all open access points and security may not be acceptable for your needs?
Internet through satellites is very, very slow and very, very costly from what I've found out from the bigger boats who have it. But really, you aren't going to be sailing nearly as much as you are anchored anyway, and you could stay in a place w/good internet when you needed to.
I'd suggest keeping an internet log so you remember where you had good internet for when you need it.
Hope this helps.
10-26-2013 02:04 PM
vega1860
Re: Making a living as a liveaboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by SummerSailors View Post
We are gearing up to take off cruising next year. While the idea of truly "taking off forever" is great, the reality of having no income while also not being independently wealthy (and spending every penny getting the boat ready!) is slowly creeping in to my consciousness...

I am realizing that I can probably keep several of my clients and work virtually. I am a bookkeeper and Professional Organizer. I *know* I could do this, in theory. My main concern is internet access.

Can you guys talk about what the best way to have reliable internet service is? If I am not at a port, is it possible to still get online somehow and say, do payroll?? We originally are planning to get SSB, but I'm guessing if I'm to be in business, I will need much more than that.

Services, equipment- hardware, software, etc... what say you??

I think you could pull it off if you confine your cruising to short hops between relatively civilized ports. If, in your fantasy, you see yourself setting the auto pilot and going below to do payroll while a thousand miles from Nuku Hiva, consider what happens if you encounter a week of bad weather or your antennae carries away, or salt spray gets into the electronics while you are still two weeks from port. Blown deadlines are not good for business and deadlines are death to a cruiser.

Better to keep your voyaging and working separate. Best is to set up one or more small passive streams of income (Rental income, royalties etc.) so the cash flow is not all one way while you are cruising. You can stop to work when you feel like it or the need arises. In your case, you could set up a newsletter and engage your current clients. You may be able to put together short term projects to complete while in port.

Just my opinion FWIW
10-25-2013 04:19 PM
SummerSailors
Re: Making a living as a liveaboard

We are gearing up to take off cruising next year. While the idea of truly "taking off forever" is great, the reality of having no income while also not being independently wealthy (and spending every penny getting the boat ready!) is slowly creeping in to my consciousness...

I am realizing that I can probably keep several of my clients and work virtually. I am a bookkeeper and Professional Organizer. I *know* I could do this, in theory. My main concern is internet access.

Can you guys talk about what the best way to have reliable internet service is? If I am not at a port, is it possible to still get online somehow and say, do payroll?? We originally are planning to get SSB, but I'm guessing if I'm to be in business, I will need much more than that.

Services, equipment- hardware, software, etc... what say you??
10-16-2013 07:07 PM
hellosailor
Re: Making a living as a liveaboard

a/r-
Bluewater internet access is dirt cheap, about what cellular data with roaming cost a mere decade ago.
Or from another perspective, it is unaffordable but Inmarsat and others do provide it, which was unthinkable two decades ago. Plenty of threads online about this and plenty of option$. But unless you're really something special, it will be far cheaper for your clients to hire someone who doesn't have to pay satellite data rates.
10-16-2013 06:20 PM
MDBoatBabe
Re: Making a living as a liveaboard

SailorsNook, not traveling; raising kids in school and going to school myself. I do however have friends that travel to the Bahamas and to support their boating habit, they dive boat bottoms. They have a banner on both sides of their boat when at anchor that advertises their services.
10-16-2013 06:00 PM
ambitious/rubbish
Re: Making a living as a liveaboard

For those of you who referenced providing IT services while living aboard, how do maintain internet access in blue water? I'm looking for essentially a mobile hotspot that obtains its connection via satellite, anyone know about this? I'm basically after a good internet connection while at sea so I can continually access weather info.
10-16-2013 01:19 PM
sailorsnook
Re: Making a living as a liveaboard

Are you a travelling liveaboard Marlene?
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